National Origin Discrimination

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Portland National Origin Discrimination Attorneys

Compassionate Legal Guidance in Oregon

All employees are entitled to equal treatment in the workplace, no matter their country of origin. Unfortunately, many employees face discrimination as a result of their nationality and are subject to hostile work environments, wrongful termination, and other forms of unlawful conduct.

Our Portland national origin discrimination lawyers at Bullman Law Firm can help you if you believe that you are being harassed or unfairly treated as a result of your nationality. We can work with you to file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Oregon’s Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI). We can also pursue further legal action as necessary.

Our team is committed to fighting national origin discrimination. Call (503) 987-0000 or contact us online to schedule a free initial case review.

What Is Considered National Origin Discrimination?

All forms of discrimination on the basis of national origin are illegal at the federal level. An employer cannot make employment decisions based on an employee’s country of origin, ancestry, ethnicity, surname, or cultural identity. National origin discrimination can often overlap with race discrimination.

You may be experiencing national origin discrimination if:

  • You are being paid less than others with different nationalities for the same job
  • You are repeatedly and unjustifiably targeted for discipline as a result of your nationality or traits closely associated with your nationality
  • You are consistently overlooked for promotions and advancement opportunities despite strong work performance (especially if employees of other nationalities with inferior work performance or lesser seniority repeatedly receive promotions)
  • You are subject to comments or insults related to your nationality or traits closely associated with your nationality, such as your accent
  • You are terminated after experiencing other forms of national origin discrimination

Discrimination Rules for Citizenship Status, Accents, and Language Fluency

Laws prohibiting national origin discrimination often extend to employment decisions involving citizenship status, accents, and language requirements. Discrimination on the basis of these factors can often constitute national origin discrimination due to their close relationship to one’s nationality.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) is a federal law that explicitly bans employment discrimination on the basis of citizenship status if a worker or applicant has legal permission to work in the United States. There are limited exceptions in cases where federal law mandates that a position be filled by a U.S. citizen. Employers are also sometimes allowed to give priority to a U.S. citizen but cannot establish a policy of regularly prioritizing citizens.

Employers can only make decisions based on a worker’s accent if the accident substantially interferes with the employee’s job performance. An employee cannot be disciplined or subject to adverse action simply for having a thick or particular type of accent.

Employers can in some cases require that employees speak and be fluent in certain languages, including English. However, language and fluency rules must be consistently applied across the entire workforce and may not be selectively enforced. Additionally, language rules and enforcement must be reasonably limited in scope. An employer cannot generally require that employees only speak a certain language while on breaks, for example.

It can sometimes be challenging to determine if you have been discriminated against on the basis of your nationality. Our Portland national origin discrimination attorneys can review the facts of your situation and help determine if you have a case.

How We Can Help You Fight National Origin Discrimination

If you have been the victim of national origin discrimination, it is imperative that you keep a written record of all instances of misconduct and explore your legal options as soon as possible. BOLI will accept workplace discrimination complaints for any incidents that took place in the preceding 5 years. If you wish to go through the EEOC, the federal agency that investigates workplace discrimination complaints, you must file within 300 days of the most recent incident.

Our Portland national origin discrimination lawyers at Bullman Law Firm can assist with the process of filing a claim with BOLI or the EEOC. We can represent you throughout each agency’s investigation and work to ensure that your interests are always protected. Should BOLI or EEOC decline to intervene or litigate, we can help you pursue a lawsuit against your employer and fight to recover damages. Our firm exclusively represents employees and will do everything possible to secure a favorable outcome in your case.

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